While death and taxes may be the only certainties in life, there are other aspects of life that we have to deal with – whether we are living in stationary homes or in rolling boxes. For many of them, living on the road makes them a bit more difficult.
We have been getting used to the new challenges of doing laundry and getting mail or haircuts while traveling. This past month we have had to deal with some new challenges: Doctors and dentists and insurance claims (and the all important hair coloring).
The worst part of our adventure to date was being victimized – first by thieves, then by our insurance company. At least it felt like it – even though it was all “by the book”. I’ll explain.
On January 8th, Tom’s daughter was going back to school. She rode back with her boyfriend who attends college in Phoenix and didn’t want the extra 4 hour round trip to Tuscon. So they met up with Tom in Quartzsite and Tom had a great three hour drive alone with his daughter taking her the rest of the way. He thought about turning around and coming back home (to our parking spot at Kofa) that same night, but opted to get a few hours sleep on his daughter’s couch first. When he attempted to leave at 5 in the morning, he discovered someone had tried to steal the Jeep. They didn’t – thanks apparently to a chip in the key that disable their attempt to hot-wire it. But they busted the lock on the door, and took the steering column apart, and broke the ignition switch – which made it so that Tom couldn’t even drive it.
Maybe they were scared off or maybe they gave up – but before that they managed to take everything in the jeep. Things like Tom’s favorite jacket, plus one he loved that he just got for Christmas from our new daughter-in-law. His prescription glasses. Our hiking poles. All of the gift cards we had left for dinners and movies. (We kept them in the glove box because we’d always forget to take them out of the motorhome when we’d leave in the Jeep.) Tom’s senior park pass – which only cost him $10 but will cost $80 to replace. Binoculars that Tom’s had since he was ten. Some other strange items like toilet paper and chewing gum. And the big ticket item, our brake buddy.
When you tow a vehicle, you must have a brake assist – just in case the vehicle breaks loose from the tow hitch. We opted not to wire ours in – in case we traded out tow vehicles – so it was transportable and they took off with it – all $1200 worth of it.
To add insult to injury, none of this was covered by insurance. Unfortunately, a fact we were unaware of until we filed our claim. Normally (as I understand it now) personal property in a vehicle is covered by your homeowners policy. Which we no longer have. We have “full timer’s” insurance on our motorhome, which I assumed covered our personal property like homeowners. But it’s different. So we are SOL on everything that was stolen.
So the end result was Tom had to have a locksmith fix the Jeep ignition so he could get home and we couldn’t get the Jeep damage repaired until after a visit to an approved claims center, the nearest one in Tuscon. So we kept having fun in Quartzsite knowing that we’d be heading to Tuscon next, which is where we are now. Waiting for the repair company to order parts to fix the steering column. Then it will be another three or 4 days while the Jeep is in the shop.
I suppose this ordeal wouldn’t have been much different if we weren’t traveling, but like most necessities of life, it’s just a little trickier when you’re on the road.
Same with doctors and dentists. We have friends traveling to their home state to have their doctor and dentist visits. Not having that option, we went to Mexico for our teeth cleanings – and to get Tom’s stolen glasses replaced. Cleanings $25 each and glasses with exam $110. Barely more than our dental and vision insurance payment each month (which is now cancelled because it never covered anything).
While waiting the two hours it took to get the glasses made, we stumbled upon a billboard for a doctor specializing in joint pain and anti-aging. So we paid him a visit as well. I had an excellent consultation which I may (or may not) talk about in the future. Suffice it to say I’m impressed with medical in Mexico.
And the final new frontier we crossed: hair color maintenance while traveling. I’ve been doing my own for a while now, but it was new for my friend Pam. So I got to play beautician and help her with her touch ups.
Life on the road is ALWAYS an adventure!
Peace & Love, Joy